Picking up the pieces after the collapse of Simons Group

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said leaving creditors and staff unpaid was 'a mess'

When the Lincolnshire based construction Simons Group hit the rocks in October numerous contracts were left in the lurch.

One such was a £17m leisure, restaurant and cinema complex in Basildon Essex, commissioned by the council. Work has stopped on the project after Simons Group went into administration at the end of October.

Writing on the Building News website Jordan Marshall said: “The council said it had appointed McLaren directly, rather than through another publicised competition, because running a new contest would have delayed the restart until next July. It added that if the job, known as East Square, is not finished on time, the authority will be in line to lose £1.5m. The scheme is scheduled to complete in April 2021.”

Ian Carrotte of ICSM Credit said when a firm goes into administration it’s the suppliers and the staff who are left without payment. He said: “It’s a mess as there are unfinished contracts with the Basildon cinema project causing considerable stress to those involved. The administrators say it was cash flow problems which brought about the collapse. Good credit control is key as without a disciplined approach there will always be problems.”

The planning and construction website PBC News said 180 jobs were on the line when the firm went down with administrators FRP Advisory retaining some workers to complete other work. Some staff were able to switch to alternative contractors while others were left high and dry along with suppliers.

PBC News said: “The family-owned company had a £100m turnover but it was also carrying a large pension deficit of £11.3m at its last report in March 2018. Simons Group ran into complications with its £33m contract to build the UK’s second-largest private hospital at Pebble Mill in the Midlands. Employees were scrambling to finish the project but the client is thought to have refused to accept handover because of build quality issues. Subcontractors have been told to stop work at Simons Group’s construction sites on October 29.”

The administrators said they would work with the Redundancy Payments Service to support workers left unpaid and without redundancy payments.

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